By Rebecca Lang
Today our group met at the library as usual for our first Saturday meeting of the month. But things didn’t go as planned. With our agenda to full and our critiques too few, we decided to mix it up and spend the meeting brainstorming and planning.
Writer’s Corner: Literary Orange
Helen opened up the meeting with a report on Literary Orange. There were two keynote speakers, one eloquent and one funny. She went to a panel on historical fiction and a panel on romance (the two genres she writes). According to the historical fiction panel, there were two points of view about the genre: those who said facts were most important and that everything had to be accurate, and those who said it was fiction and that facts could be tweaked to suit the story. The panel also noted that sales of historical fiction were dropping because most of the land had already been explored, which led to a rise in SF/ Fantasy.
When she came to Literary Orange, Helen came in with the question: “Do I want to be a serious writer or not?” For her, the most important thing she gained from the experience was the energy that comes from a large gathering of people who love to read and write.
Helen bought two books: A Star for Mrs. Blake, a historical fiction about mothers who took a trip overseas to mourn their sons who died on foriegn soil during the war, and Pen on Fire, a nonfiction book about how to write even when busy.
By a stroke of fate, Ned happened to buy a membership to the Southern California Writers and he was glad he did. He went to the meeting and found it packed with published writers and great information. Unfortunately, it happens to meet at the same time as our Writer’s Forum (the third Saturday of the month), but if a particular topic looks interesting, it might be worth going to.
Rita also discovered Book Bub, a website that offers special discounts on books in whatever genre you like to read. They even send emails with daily deals.
New Events for Our Club?
Here the meeting veered off-topic, as we ditched the critiques and began talking about new writing events for our club to try. I’m going to break the third wall here and tell you that I, personally, was very excited about the ideas that author Lauren Christopher talked about in the author visit. We began to rift off that.
- Writing Session
What: Everybody gets together and writes. We try different methods. For example: White Out–everyone sets their document’s text to white and writes blind. Another example: Word Sprint–everyone completes for highest word count in ten-minute bursts.
Why: Some people like the energy of writing in a big group. For some people, being in a group helps their discipline. It’s also a good way of trying out new writing methods.
When: July might be a good time. It could replace our usual Writer’s Forum.
- Critique Partners
What: Rather than having to worry about the writing of the whole group, partners within the group show each other their manuscripts and chapters.
Why: It’s hard to get a critique on the whole work, if we keep breaking it up, piece by piece. A partner might offer more depth. It might be easier to share rough work. It’s a good way of keeping each other accountable.
When: Summer might work.
- Brainstorming Session
What: The group meets together for an all-day brainstorming party.
Why: Our Writer’s Forum work like this, wherein we throw out ideas and bounce them off each other, but this would be a larger version of that event. We also might try out new types of brainstorming.
When: October. November is Nanonwrimo, so if we all brainstorm together beforehand, more people might be willing to take the plunge and try writing a novel in a month.
Launch Party–Volunteers Needed!
Rebecca Lang is having a launch party for her first novel, The Changelings (illustrated by Kaleo Welborn). The party will take place at Canyon Hills Library on June 20, 2015 from 2:00-3:30. It will include trivia, a reading, a raffle and yummy treats.
We need volunteers to greet, clean up, and act as MC. We’re also looking for people to bring light snacks for the party’s refreshments. Interested? Contact Becky, Helen, or Kaleo.